Stan Freberg, satirist and origin of '412', dies aged 88

 
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/07/entertainment/feat-obit-stan-freberg-thr/

"Stan Freberg, whose freewheeling comic career in advertising garnered him worldwide acclaim and whose satirical entertainments abounded on TV, the radio and on records, has died. He was 88."

Mr Freberg's sketch "St George And The Dragonet" has achieved a degree of infamy in gunzel circles as the origin of the '412' meme:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT3QYb7AN6k

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  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Mr Freberg's sketch "St George And The Dragonet" has achieved a degree of infamy in gunzel circles as the origin of the '412' meme
LancedDendrite
For years I've been at a loss as to why 412 is such an important number to some railfans. I thought this video would enlighten me, instead it robbed me of three minutes of my life. Confused
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Yeah, me too. Old time comedy, it probably was funny back then, but not so today. So, 412 is relatively well known as the post code for Pittsburgh, USA, but how does it relate to railways?
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
412 (E): An in joke popularised by the spoof New South Ales Digest in 1969. The number was derived from the Stan Freberg sketch St George and the Dragonet in which a 412 was the crime of overacting. In rail fan circles, anything involving the number 412 is highlighted whenever possible.

The sketch posted above by LancedDendritre is not the original Stan Freberg one. The original was not a television item, but was sound/radio only, and made in 1953 on a Capitol records release.
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
412 (E): An in joke popularised by the spoof New South Ales Digest in 1969. The number was derived from the Stan Freberg sketch St George and the Dragonet in which a 412 was the crime of overacting. In rail fan circles, anything involving the number 412 is highlighted whenever possible.
Valvegear
It's increasingly looking like one of those jokes that needs explaining. Nobody likes those jokes.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
It's increasingly looking like one of those jokes that needs explaining.
michaelgreenhill

That's generally what an in-joke is, mate.
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
That's generally what an in-joke is, mate.
LancedDendrite
Fair point. I guess I'm from a generation that missed that in-joke.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
To appreciate the Stan Freberg radio sketch, you had to know about Jack Webb's 'Dragnet' television show, as it was a spoof of that.
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.
So, an "in joke" based on an ancient radio show that was a spoof of an ancient T.V show, that had nothing to do with the life wasting video?  How am I doing?
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
Now I understand the AMRM April Fool ABV 412 van. (Page 57).   Had no idea why van 412 would be so special.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
So, an "in joke" based on an ancient radio show that was a spoof of an ancient T.V show, that had nothing to do with the life wasting video?  How am I doing?
QSB6.7
Nailed it.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
So why are you coming back to the thread if it's completely pointless and about an 'unfunny' in-joke?
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
So why are you coming back to the thread if it's completely pointless and about an 'unfunny' in-joke?
LancedDendrite
I find the origin of such things interesting. It's been a part of RP since day dot (it remains Bromage's avatar to this day) and I've never understood it.
  stopblock Junior Train Controller

Location: Planet Earth
It's increasingly looking like one of those jokes that needs explaining. Nobody likes those jokes.
michaelgreenhill
Old Confucious saying:

He who laughs last......    usually need joke explained!!!
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I am a member of a long...very long standing rail-fan bunch of 15 old and not so old grumps which is called the '412 Guinness and Gunzels'

We meet twice a year and the criteria for the meeting which the organisation of same is on a rotational basis and the establishment has to be reached by day-return PT and serve Guinness.

We have travelled to places as diverse as Avenel and Pyramid, Queenscliff and Coldstream.

Mike.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
So why are you coming back to the thread if it's completely pointless and about an 'unfunny' in-joke?
LancedDendrite
Back in the day I found Stan Freberg's comedy to be amusing, but not now, it is dated and one can easily understand why younger people would not find it funny.

Much the same as Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello, The Three Stooges et al, time to retire that humour.
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/07/entertainment/feat-obit-stan-freberg-thr/

"Stan Freberg, whose freewheeling comic career in advertising garnered him worldwide acclaim and whose satirical entertainments abounded on TV, the radio and on records, has died. He was 88."

Mr Freberg's sketch "St George And The Dragonet" has achieved a degree of infamy in gunzel circles as the origin of the '412' meme:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT3QYb7AN6k
LancedDendrite
In my collection of 78RPM records, I happen to have the Capitol disc of that sketch; the B-side is "Little Blue Riding Hood" (only the colour has been changed to prevent an investigation Wink ).

Assisting Mr. Freberg in the St. George sketch are Daws Butler (who co-wrote it with Freberg), who some of you would know better as the voice of Yogi Bear, and June Foray, who did all the female voices in Rocky & Bullwinkle, including Rocky himself.

More info here.
  Old Northern Locomotive Fireman

I think that Freberg's sketches which involve parodies of Dragnet are still funny but, and this is a big but, they will only be funny if you have seen episodes of Dragnet - if you haven't, then the whole thing just sounds odd.
  allan Chief Commissioner

This guy was clever, really clever. "What's a radio program?" and "The abominible snowman" are timeless, and priceless. Certainly, they are pure 1950s, but, unlike a lot of his tracks, they do not require a knowledge of the American "culture" (I use the term loosely) of the time.
  Old Northern Locomotive Fireman

And his "Elderly Man River" is probably more relevant today than it was when it was written.
  allan Chief Commissioner

And his "Elderly Man River" is probably more relevant today than it was when it was written.
Old Northern
The title alone was enough to cause a chuckle...
  M636C Minister for Railways

Since this is a rail forum, it is worth mentioning that Freberg ran a campaign to keep the overnight train between Los Angeles and San Fransisco "The Lark" running, offering his services as an advertising writer for free to Southern Pacific, the operator of the train. "The Lark" was an all sleeping train with a triple articulated lounge kitchen dining car set.

And the sad thing is that "Elderly Man River" might not be noticed today. Just look at the changes to the words in "Advance Australia Fair".

M636C
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
I have a CD of Stan Freberg with 16 tracks (including all those mentioned above, also "Rock Island Line"), and many of them are still relevant today.  "Green Chri$tma$", which sends up the crass commercialism of the yuletide season, gets an airing at my place every December.

Vale Stan;  you did well.

(As an aside, does anyone know what happened to W2 tram 412?  Vicsig lists it as "sold", no further information.)

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